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ingredients (makes about 2.5 cups)

1 cup raw cashews

4 cups cold water, plus water for soaking

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

pinch of salt

make it

-place cashews in a deep bowl and cover with 3 cups of water (don't stress, it doesn't have to be perfect. Just cover the cashews with as much water as your bowl will hold). Soak for at least 4 hours, but 6-8 hours is even better. The longer you soak them, the creamier your milk will be!

-after soaking, drain and quickly rinse the cashews in cold water. Place in your blender and add the rest of the ingredients. 

-blend on high for about 1 minute. Store in a large mason jar for up to 4 days (if it lasts that long!)

creamy cashew milk

If you've never tried making your own nut milks then now is the time to start. You might be looking for a dairy alternative or maybe you are just feeling adventurous and want to try something new. Either way, good choice! Nut milks are a great substitution for dairy, they are loaded with nutrients and they are a delicious way to include these nutritional powerhouses in your diet. 

Nut milks are becoming more popular in grocery stores and while they may seem more convenient, they are not always the best choice. Store bought nut milks are loaded with stabilizers, additives and flavourings (hint: don't be fooled by natural flavourings. "Natural" flavourings are not so natural; they are still a chemical concoction made in a lab). It only takes a few ingredients and a couple steps to make your own delicious nut milk that is free from additives and flavourings. They are one of the easiest things to make and they are far superior to any store bought brand. The processing of store bought nut milks, along with nasty flavourings, take away from the truly delicious flavour of the nut that should be highlighted. You may be thinking right now that the whole process of turning nuts into nut milk sounds fancy and complicated and it's something you want nothing to do with. For real- it is so easy to make your own! You don't even need a fancy high-powered blender. A regular blender will do. Once you try the homemade version you will never be able to go back to the funky tasting store bought variety.

Now onto why this cashew milk, in particular, is something you should be sipping. Cashews are a nutrient packed, heart-healthy nut that are full of monounsaturated fats (the kind of fat that made people respect olive oil's heart-healthy benefits). These little guys are a great source of copper which is important for joint and bone health. Copper also plays a role in many enzymatic reactions. It helps promote antioxidant activity through the support of the important enzyme superoxide dismutase (sounds important right?). This enzyme helps speed up the removal of free radicals in the body. Without copper, SOD doesn't operate at its full potential. Cashews also provide us with magnesium which helps with muscle function and relaxation. Magnesium is one of the main players important for bone health. Together with phosphorous and calcium, magnesium promote bone's internal and external structure. As with all nuts, cashews are a good source of protein and fibre which will help keep you fueled and nourished throughout the day. 

The benefits of making this cashew milk over another variety like almond milk, is that the cashews become very soft when soaked. Because they get so soft, they blend very well to make a smooth and creamy milk. You don't need to strain out the pulp so all of the goodness from the cashews stays right in the milk. Give this milk a try and I swear you'll be hooked!